Mall Owners Begin to Feel the Pain of Brick & Mortar Retailers

Previously “pent-up” real-estate demand to “fizzle.”

Retail landlords are on edge. Their tenants in malls across America are reporting awful revenues and earnings, and they’re shuttering stores, and some are going bankrupt. And they’re all getting their clocks cleaned by ecommerce.

Ecommerce sales in the first quarter jumped 15% from a year ago to $86.3 billion, not seasonally adjusted, or $92.8 billion seasonally adjusted, the Census Bureau reported today. They accounted for 7.7% of total retail sales. Over the last four quarters, ecommerce also jumped 15%, to 354.3 billion.

Meanwhile, much of brick-and-mortar retail is stuck in a quagmire. Total retail sales inched up 3.3% year-over-year. A third of that “growth” was inflation as measured by CPI. Another third was the impact of ecommerce.

This chart shows quarterly ecommerce sales on a seasonally adjusted basis. It’s an impressive trend:


But this 15% year-over-year growth, as phenomenal as it might appear, is down from the pre-Financial Crisis range of well over 20%.


If ecommerce continues to grow at 15% every year, it will double in five years to $700 billion. That boom in ecommerce is mostly coming out of the hides of brick-and-mortar retailers. And they’re already taking it on the chin.

There has been an intensifying wave of bankruptcies in the retail sector. The majority are expected to end in liquidations. Companies that survive in restructured form will shutter lots of stores. And “liquidation sales” are pressuring competing stores.

Even the largest department stores, in line with other retailers, are emitting foul-smelling revenue and earnings reports. Their shares have gotten hammered (stock price since 52-week high): Dillard’s (-52%), Kohl’s (-47%), Macy’s (-59%), Nordstrom (-53%), J.C. Penney (39%), Sears (-72%).

Private-equity owned retailers, such as Albertsons (which now also owns Safeway) and Neiman Marcus, have either pushed back or scrapped their IPOs.

Store closings have hit the worst level since 2010, according to commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. In Q1 Walmart closed 125 of its Neighborhood and Express stores. Macy’s closed 40 of its full-line department stores. American Eagle, JoS A. Banks, Kohl’s, Sears, the now-bankrupt Aeropostale… they shuttered hundreds of stores in Q1.

Overall retail traffic – including malls, strip centers, and other shopping areas – in the US and Canada has been dropping relentlessly. Over the past 12 months, there were only seven weeks when retail traffic rose year-over-year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The remaining 45 weeks, retail traffic in North America dropped – and in five of those weeks, it plunged by double digits. Luxury retail traffic got hit even harder.

Per-square-foot sales at North American department stores has declined from $200 per square foot in 2006 to $165 per square foot in 2015.

But there’s a big divide: Store closures have hit older Class B and C malls, with some malls dying altogether. Newer Class A malls are expected to do well. So the performance gap between them, according to Cushman & Wakefield, is “expected to widen throughout the foreseeable future.”

This being America, change is always afoot. Despite soaring store closures and bankruptcies in the sector, some retailers push aggressively forward, at least for now, especially those catering to squeezed consumers.

Dollar Store plans to open 900 stores this year. Off-price labels Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s are also adding stores, as are some of the off-price brands of major department stores, such as Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth, and Macy’s Backstage. German discounter Aldi, which already owns Trader Joe’s, plans to open 500 Aldi stores in the US over the next two years. Lidl, another German discounter, is planning to open 100 stores by 2018.

If it doesn’t work, they can always shutter the stores later. Meanwhile, the discounters are counting on the squeezed American consumer to show up at their stores.

Developers have taken notice years ago and pulled back from stamping new malls and strip malls out of the ground, which curtailed new supply of high-quality retail space. Cushman & Wakefield estimates that the vacancy rate actually dropped to 7.9% in Q1, from 8.3% a year ago. And average annual asking rent rose 6.5% to $26.08 per square foot.

But this too seems to have run out of steam: rental rates were flat in Q1. The report notes, “In fact, on a quarterly basis, rental rate growth was slightly negative for 20 of the 65 markets we survey.”

Bloomberg estimated that the overall retail vacancy rate declined to 10% at the end of 2015, after having peaked at 11.1% in Q3 2011 as a result of the Great Recession. But…

Previously pent-up real estate demand from retailers will eventually fizzle. More store closures are expected in the coming months as troubled retailers work through bankruptcy proceedings. Even relatively healthy retailers are re-assessing the need for more brick-and-mortar stores as more sales shift online.

While many brick-and-mortar retailers have gotten crushed, their landlords – mostly publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) – have been spared, on average, much of the pain, so far.

By Bloomberg’s measure the average mall REIT is down 10% from a year ago, while the S&P 500 is down 3% and all REITs are up 6%.

But since May 10, investors have been getting increasingly edgy. Over those six trading days, mall REITs have dropped 5% on average. Simon Property Group Inc., which specializes in luxury malls, is actually up 8% from a year ago, and thus the standout. Bloomberg Intelligence noted, “Unlike some of its peers, Simon continues to attract star tenants such as Nike and Apple, command higher rents, and get attractive financing terms.” And it too has plunged 9% since May 10.

Other REITs with older malls aren’t so lucky. CBL & Associates, which dropped 3.4% today, has skidded 42% from a year ago and 12% since May 10. WP Glimcher, which plunged 4.4% today, is down 32% from a year ago. And so in its own quixotic manner, the quagmire of brick-and-mortar retailers will expand deeper into REITs.

Another day, another retailer bankruptcy. And the potentially toxic Safeway-Albertsons combo is waiting in the wings with an IPO. Read… This is Why No One Should Bail Out the “Smart Money” Stuck in Brick-and-Mortar Retailers: Let them Shed their Own Tears

Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? You can donate. I appreciate it immensely. Click on the beer and iced-tea mug to find out how:

Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.

  89 comments for “Mall Owners Begin to Feel the Pain of Brick & Mortar Retailers

  1. Larry Dallas says:

    Luckily, we have plenty of 80’s movies to document the time when malls were the place to be.

    • Álvaro says:

      Such as Dawn of the Dead.

      • polecat says:

        I LOVE that flick !!!!!!

        …….’Dead Mall Walking’…….

        • Dave says:

          Actually that was a Canadian mall.

          Dawn of the Dead was shot in Toronto in a mall that was planned for closing, even way back then.

    • EVENT HORIZON says:

      What has changed in America since 1980? My wife, or any intelligent woman, will tell you.

      It is no longer safe to go to an “enclosed” Mall in America.

  2. AC says:

    An imploding retail sector is a sure sign of economic recovery, right?

  3. Christopher Martin says:

    My only trip to the states in ’91 was a great trip and we went shopping at the King of Prussia mall in Philly. There was a big spread between shops like Bloomingdales where we looked and the small discount places where we made our purchases at very cheap prices.
    Even then there were a good few boarded up units and I wonder what it is like today. We wanted souvenirs and asked if there was anything in store made in USA. The assistant must have been used to this question because she gave us a lovely smile and said ‘ Yes, me’

    • Mark says:

      That mall is actually seems to be thriving. You may recall that it was actually two malls separated by a short distance. An addition linking the two with about 50 new stores is scheduled, I believe, to open this summer. The western suburbs of Philly are affluent and can support the likes of Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom plus several very expensive boutique stores like Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc (none of which I think were there in 1991 when you visited). I have noticed that lower-tier malls outside smaller cities seem to be the ones failing most often.

    • Petunia says:

      King of Prussia was a great mall. I used to drive from the Poconos a few times a year to shop there. Also the Manayunk area was an extremely cool shopping and dining destination. I loved Philly.

    • EVENT HORIZON says:

      Today, that assistant, of you can find her, would look at you and answer:


  4. It is nothing short of amazing that many of the retail giants just didn’t see the e-commerce coming or if they did, they didn’t know how to monetize it. Recently, I was reminded that there was a time Sears sold houses. in the 80s they were the largest furniture supplier in America.

    Yesterday, I needed to buy a new water cooker for my wife. Best Buy had it cheaper but their delivery time was something like a week and a half. We should be receiving it from Amazon within the next day or so.

    It brings to mind all the great software companies that no longer exist such as Lotus1-2-3 and dBase and the powerful engineering process simulator Chemshare. They just couldn’t or wouldn’t see what was coming.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      BTW, Lotus 1-2-3 was bought by IBM (in the late 1980s??). That’s always a death knell.

      • As an aside note, I taught voice lessons to kids and adults back in the mid to late-90s. Back then, several of the students were excited about posting audio of themselves singing on the internet. Unfortunately, the internet wasn’t yet fast enough. The point is, even CHILDREN saw the potential!!!!

      • EVENT HORIZON says:

        AND, I believe part, if not all of IBM was bought by the Chinese?

    • Dan Romig says:

      Twenty-one years ago I bought a two bedroom 1,350 sq ft Craftsman bungalow in Minneapolis that was purchased from Sears in 1919 for $600, and built by the people who lived in it!

      Reading about the housing costs in San Fran here at WS makes me realize how fortunate I am to live here by the Mississippi in my modest, but comfortable home I bought for $74,100. Sorry to rub it in to you folks in the Bay Area where this home would be ridiculously expensive.

      • EVENT HORIZON says:

        $74,100 Federal Reserve Notes today is equal to the 1919 $600 Gold Coins paid on the house.

  5. Agnes says:

    Boots on the ground…Wyoming lost about 20% sales tax revenue in every county this year except in (the highly populated by college students) Albany County which was flat.

  6. Agnes says:

    Including coin shops of course… (but under some certain dollar amount, no records are kept). Ebay silver price just now $19.56/oz. [Method: take 3 or 5 completed auctions, multiply the face value by .76, this gives the ounces , Divide the dollar amount by ounces and average the three results.]

  7. ERG says:

    It must have been sometime in the 90s when it became very clear the b & m mall expansion went over the top and there would be a bust, even without ecommerce. By 2005/06 it had lost all sense of proportion or connection to reality. The surprise is that it lasted as long as it did, not that it would eventually pop.

    Maybe nobody has noticed but I no longer hear any talk of how the consumer is going to boost the economy. Yet another happy-ending narrative bites the dust.

    • EVENT HORIZON says:

      When your government intentionally deports jobs OUT of the country, and then intentionally imports 20 million low-skilled, non-English speaking immigrants, then there is no way you can support the “mall” concept of shopping.

      Malls were social centers. I remember the 60’s, 70′ and 80’s when we went to the malls for shopping AND hanging out. Fun, peaceful, one language, one culture, one people.

      Today, when ever I go to our largest local Mall (built in the 70’s) I have my Beretta holstered and keep a look out at my 3, 6, 9 and 12.

      The Malls are dead since the culture they were built for, is dead.

  8. r cohn says:

    What I do not understand is why Amazon’s sales are not subject to sales(use) tax in all 50 states.

    • allan says:

      Do all states charge sales tax?

    • Petunia says:

      Amazon collects sales taxes in states where they have facilities. In Florida, I paid them sales tax.

    • F Roberts says:

      I completely agree–the train has to be on the tracks for an Amazon Sales Tax everywhere—these state governments aren’t going to take revenue losses sitting down

      • Merlin says:

        The state governments already steal too damn much money from their citizens. Sales tax on groceries in Oklahoma is almost 10%!!! People have no choice but to cross state lines to shop and use eCommerce as much as possible.

        • JerryBear says:

          That is really heartless. Texas does not charge sales tax on groceries, just restaurant food. I guess this is what the New Testament refers to as “grinding the faces of the poor into the dust”.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Texas charges sales taxes on many edible items bought in grocery stores, but not on staples, like flower, eggs, milk, etc.

  9. Petunia says:

    Yes, retail is down due to the economy and e-commerce.

    But, there is now another thing going on that nobody wants to acknowledge, the transgender bathroom thingy. There is a boycott going on, by women, of stores and brands, that support the intrusion of transgendered people into their spaces. As a woman, I won’t shop in a store that allows men, regardless of how they are dressed, into a bathroom or changing room designated for women. It is a safety issue. That is the new elephant in the room everybody wants to ignore. There is a limit to the tolerance of people(women) and this is it.

    For those of you interested in the investment aspects of this, women are not shopping in those stores, or buying products or services, from producers known to be gay or transgendered. I hope that the transgendered community has enough economic power to make up for all the lost sales.

    • Markar says:

      Interesting you mention that. Zero Hedge article this am (and the comments) support this:

    • gyorg says:

      Is that really true? I’m from the sexual-identity hinterlands myself but I agree this transgendered thing has gotten totally absurd, and I’m sure now that it’s PC’s cats have got people’s tongues. But are female shoppers really doing this??

      • Ptb says:

        Well, being in construction most of my life, I’ve noticed a distinct trend in businesses that have on-site restrooms ….they’re building single, unisex restrooms. One at a time, door locks. Just like at home.

        • GCC says:

          They have these types of restrooms in parts of Europe, and where there are separate men and women’s restrooms, many of them are totally enclosed, no way for any peeping tom to see in while you are doing your business. Just makes sense, especially when a parent is with a child of the opposite sex.

      • Petunia says:

        Yep, it’s true. It started with Target pissing off women and it has grown. The bakery and wedding venue lawsuits started the conversation a while back. But the bathroom thingy has exploded into outright anger and a full blown boycott.

        • Leftist Ideology trumps ALL. Leftist are completely BLIND to the consequences of their edicts and laws. You don’t like it? Leftist say “Tough Shit!”

          All you have to do is look at Venezuela to see what Leftists can do to a nation. The only think that will save that country is violent revolution.

          I still am aghast that Target thought this was a slam dunk terrific idea. What I’m afraid of is people will go back to Target and then it’s all business as usual. And they will point to all the sheeple saying “see? people really don’t care about principle as long as you sell them crap they want to buy.”

        • DanR says:

          I am on the left and would prefer if my values were more reflected in this society. I have felt similarly put upon by some right wing values in the past.

    • EVENT HORIZON says:

      Do what my wife does. She walks in first, looks around and keeps her 9mm Glock very very close to her.

      • JerryBear says:

        E.H. you are beginning to sound just a little bit dangerous. I hope you don’t end up shooting up a Burger
        King or something. Carrying a gun might save you one time out of a hundred but it will get you killed or serving hard time in prison 99 out of a hundred times. I wish you had more genuine respect for firearms and were less disturbingly paranoid.

    • rex says:

      I’m sorry, but I can’t resist asking: can you fathom how many times you may have peed in the same restroom as a transgendered person? Does it even matter if someone is just innocently sitting in their own stall minding their own business? Does anyone else conclude that this whole issue has been blown out of proportion to the point of idiocy? Sorry Wolf to waste space by even responding to this sort of nonsense but frankly I’ve heard just about enough (I’ve about had a bellyfull of it as Dad used to say) about this non-issue!

    • Agnes says:

      Perhaps If I was truly desperate I might go into a Target(buying MLP) if I was by myself. But never ever if I was escorting children.

    • JerryBear says:

      Do we have to bring up identity politics here? There is more than enough of that going on already. Let’s stick to the economic issues!

  10. Ptb says:

    Brick and mortar is undergoing a big change. Amazon Prime makes it tough to compete on most non-food items.
    But even the food sellers are changing.. Trader joes is swamped all day while Luckys and Safeway are slowing down. Dollar stores are popping up all over rural areas and I’ve noticed Goodwill stores are becoming more common and bigger.
    What will city gov do when this tax shortage starts to hit their coffers?

  11. nick kelly says:

    Here in Canada the Target fiasco continues to reverberate. It was about 120 closings so to get a feel for the impact here multiply by 10=1200. How would that feel?
    Some mall tenants have gone after the mall owners for relief from what is still a big hole in the traffic. It’s funny but if you could make the space disappear there would be less impact than having it empty.
    There is a mall here (Nanaimo, Vancouver Island) that had for its anchors a Sears and a Target. Like a ship that dragged its anchors its on the rocks. It is about 70% empty.
    The Sears is still there, only because they couldn’t get out of the lease- without going bankrupt which is what Target Canada did. Sears sold some of its leases in Vancouver for a profit- one to Nordstrom.
    Maybe the latter will be smarter than Target and dip in a toe before opening 120 locations AT ONCE.
    The old Target location in the above mall (used to be Zellers) will be a Lowes soon. But it will be too late for the fairly large restaurant next door that just closed.
    One thing puzzles me about e-retail. I thought women, who must be at least 80% of apparel- liked to try on all kinds of stuff before buying.
    My sister has two dresses given to her by her daughter who bought them on line and doesn’t like them.
    I can see appliances on line etc. but women’s clothing? Can you send it back?

    • Petunia says:

      You can usually send clothing back. The way most women buy clothing online is to stick to stores and brands they are already familiar with, that way they know the sizing. Every store and brand sizes differently, even though they don’t admit it.

    • EVENT HORIZON says:

      Women will try them on at a store and then,. using their iPhone, attempt to find the same thing at an on-line store.

      Plus women WILL NOT SHOP were they don’t feel safe and today most stores, malls, etc, are frightening to women.

      Don’t ask my why. If you can’t figure it out, then you have no eyes to see.

      • night-train says:

        Why do you feel the need to broadcast that you are armed. I have had a concealed carry permit for 30 years and carry. You are one of the loudmouth types who, I believe, wants a chance to pull your weapon and probably use it if you have the chance. The last thing I want to have to do is use my weapon. Because, in the real world, not your fantasy world, the odds are still against you. Many more scenarios where, even with a firearm, you lose.

  12. OutLookingIn says:

    Today’s consumers do not ‘hamstring’ themselves by limiting their shopping to one location, under one roof. Or to one local area, even though it be city sized.
    Why would you? When the world is at your fingertips via online and all that entails, such as;
    To name just a few of the positives, let alone the savings in travel.

    Sears used to operate one of the best catalog shopping services and was perfectly positioned to transit into online. The short sighted, stilted, top management at the time, thought it would be a good “cost saving” move to abandon their catalog shopping sector.
    Wow! Talk about dropping the ball!

    We have a new huge ‘Great Dollar Store’ opening next weekend. This now makes 3 dollar stores within 8 shopping blocks! Oh, and the 4 second hand outlets run by various charities and one by the community association, are doing great. Parking lots always mostly full.

    • JerryBear says:

      The famous Sears Catalog up until the 1920’s used to carry an item called “Hashish Candy”. It was described as “Fun for the whole family!” I’ll bet it was too. ^,..,^ I would love to collect some of the really ancient catalogs to see what our forefathers were interested in……..

  13. Chicken says:

    Back in the 70’s LA area, my neighbor ran a clothing manufacturing plant, he wasn’t allowed to transport his employees into and home from work each day.

    To fill orders, if he was short a certain size at the end of a run (for whatever reason), he’d change the tags and call it done.

    Merchants should respect women’s privacy, full stop.

    Anyone care to purchase tickets to the museum of malls? Else they’re converted to rental office space, I suppose.

    Wonder if Congress sees opportunities for mandating regulations requiring people to shop at malls? Maybe as soon as they close their shorts and buy out the bankruptcies at pennies on the dollar, legislation quietly gets slipped into a bill.

    So let’s see, State tax receipts have lost retail sales to ecommerce and next gasoline salestax revenue to EV’s, have I got that correct and how do they compensate?

    Does anyone see EV’s on their commute? I don’t see many at all, a notable absence. Maybe they’re all on the commuter-vehicle corridor?

    • nick kelly says:

      Little serious comment about ‘lying sizes’
      In men’s wear anything from China exaggerates the size- I am not ‘fat’ at 6 ft 210 lb but have to buy XL size in the four- size garments (S, M, L, XL)

      In life jackets there are no genders- the Canadian DOT approves them and most are Chinese. I can barely get into the XL, a buxom women would not be able to.

      • JerryBear says:

        Asians have significantly different body proportions than Europeans. If you are bigger than average you may not be able to buy something that really fits, Many American expatriates i met in Taiwan bought their clothes on trips back to the U.S.

  14. Unit472 says:

    A few thoughts on the decline/closing of physical retail. The older malls are located in areas with declining demographics. Food ‘ deserts’ have been a problem for the poor for awhiled but is now including access to brand name retail. OTOH ecommerce is typically conducted via credit card or perhaps, I’m not sure, a debit card will work but would require the buyer to have the available cash in their bank account. Low income people often have neither!

    To belabor this issue a bit more, the Obama Administrations efforts to disperse section 8 housing to more affluent yet car dependent suburbs may have the effect of isolating low income people from shopping opportunities even more. At least in the urban core the poor can take public transit to downtown shopping districts but of what use is an upscale mall with limited or no public transit access and filled with high end retailers ( and security)?

  15. economicminor says:

    I really can’t believe the hullabaloo about Transgender.. Such a really small segment of society. Mostly congregate in large metro areas where they just blend in.. Get over it people.. Go on to something important.. Anyone who is so disturbed by this little segment of society needs to go see their shrink… What a total waste of time and energy..

    As for e-commerce.. I live in rural So. Oregon where nothing has ever been available. We use to have a Sears Catalogue store in town but that went away on the first downsizing of Sears. They blew it.. IMO.. should have expanded the catalogue stores and made them extensions of e-commerce.. I purchase a lot on line because many of the things I want for my projects just aren’t available in retail stores any where in this area. I do understand. The cost per foot of retail space is to high, just like every thing else.. all driven up by cheap inflated dollars… but then that means that retailers can’t hang on to anything that doesn’t move as the overhead is just to expensive.. to much leverage everywhere.. The only people making money on this are the banksters..

    I still see new retail strip malls being built in Medford and Grants Pass and wonder who is in charge of their business plans? As for the big regional mall, it is about 80% occupied but traffic is light when I go there..

    I have read and seen news clips how some malls have been converted into community centers with concerts and events going all the time.. lots of small venders and food carts… Sounds like a plan to me. There isn’t even a beer bar left in our local one… Dumb…

    • Wolf Richter says:

      What?!? No beer bar in your town in Oregon, a paradise of craft brew??!!

      Now that’s a business plan…

      • economicminor says:

        We have great craft beer in So Oregon and two in our little town at Wild River Pizza and other at Taylor’s which is a factory outlet and eatery for Taylor’s Sausage. None in the Medford mall. There use to be a sit down eatery and pub in the mall but no more. Just the run of the mill fast food and not a huge variety of those. All stripped down to bare bones fronts. Not much reason to go to the mall any more.. except my wife buys some makeup at Macy’s..

    • Petunia says:

      I really can’t believe the hullabaloo about Transgender..

      You’re used to being in a public toilet with your pants around your ankles with a guy, in a dress or not, outside. Most women would rather forego the experience, for many reasons.

    • Honestly, there is no telling how long trangenders have already been using the opposite toilets facilities up until now. I imagine for quite some time. The problem is now the governments want to codify this into law which has brought the whole issue to the surface.

      The main problem I see is that many perverts will “decide” what gender they are and be protected by the law.

      • this one says:

        You’re trying to create a problem for political purposes where none in fact exists. I remember back when similar arguments were made to reserve toilet facilities for whites only.

        Going to the bathroom should be a human right. People shouldn’t have to relieve themselves in the Housewares Department or the hood of your car.

        The U.S. strangely prides itself on being a “free country”. Do you have any idea why?

      • JerryBear says:

        AAAAHHHH! Let the subject GO already! ENOUGH !!!

      • JerryBear says:

        Wolf, I think the situation is hopeless. Julian just continued to side track the discussion while pretending to resolve it. Maybe it is time to shut down this discussion….

  16. this one says:

    johnnygeneric: All you have to do is look at Venezuela to see what Leftists can do to a nation.

    Venezuela has been the target of U.S. economic warfare for years. U.S. influence in Latin America has been destructive and genocidal since the Monroe Doctrine claimed first dibs on it.

    Socialism is alive and well in the Scandinavian countries, even though they have also been targeted, but they have been better able to defend themselves.

    • You are incredibly naïve. I’ve been following the goings on in Venezuela for years and to say this is because of American subterfuge is just plain crazy. The US government isn’t to blame for the national takeover of the oil industry there. Food shortages? You think WE caused that? Toilet paper shortages? Sanitary napkin shortages, the tagging of citizens top prevent hoarding is OUR FAULT?

      Nationalization of one sector of the economy after another is due to some US conspiracy?

      GROW UP!

      • Petunia says:

        How much is gold or even cash helping in this situation. Every time I see a posting about buying gold and silver for when the SHTF, I think they would be better off stashing cans of Spam and tuna fish in the basement.

        • this one says:

          Americans seem to prefer stockpiling guns over either gold or Spam. That way, when the SHTF, they can get all the gold and Spam they want.

        • EVENT HORIZON says:

          You are almost there. In every post I write, I encourage the reader to have at least 6 months of food, water AND other items.

          Guns and ammunition are to defend yourself and your family.

          Gold and Silver are so your “wealth” is not destroyed. For about 3,000 years people have been able to trade their GOLD for anything available.

          I have a few smallGOLD bars with the NAZI symbol on them, as collectors items inherited from my dad. I also have currency and postage stamps from Nazi Germany. I can use that GOLD anywhere in the world to buy what ever I want.

          That is why you want Gold.

        • nicko says:

          You keep your gold, I’ll keep my Gold Visa card.

      • this one says:

        johnnygeneric: I’ve been following the goings on in Venezuela for years and to say this is because of American subterfuge is just plain crazy.

        Several U.S. government and private agencies operate against Venezuela very openly. As for subterfuge, your CIA has been notorious for knocking over third-world governments since its founding, and Venezuela is no exception. Perhaps you were unaware of that, as you seem to be unaware of so very many things.

        I was under the impression that the purpose of this site was to discuss issues of finance and economics, and that catapulting the radical right-wing propaganda was prohibited. Perhaps I was mistaken.

        How’s your poverty rate? Are you on welfare yourself? Corporate welfare perhaps?

    • EVENT HORIZON says:

      Marxist, Castro, Socialist, Catholic doctrine all combined to create the hell-hole known as Venezuela. The bought the cool-aid and drank it and they will have to learn the hard way.

      The problem is, the lighter skinned ELITE will not give up power, therefore the peasants are all going to sneak into America and further destroy this nation.

      Hell is coming.

      • frederick says:

        Event Horizon you are 100% correct things are going to get crazy in the states once the markets start to tank and the dollar implodes This is the quiet before the storm and time to get prepared

  17. Merlin says:

    Houston, we got a problem………….

    • Agnes says:

      So I speak a little Spanish and went to see about Venezuela…apparently the President there will not allow any International Aid in(after the unicameral legislature passed a law allowing it in January)…and the recall signatures have been sufficient to call for a referendum….Apparently the New York Times will have a big article on Venezuela today or tomorrow. Price controls on some goods at first seemed to help and then created shortages as producers were being forced to sell under their costs(specifically I researched coffee), and not allowed to cover some costs by exporting. It is feared that shortages are so great that even the distribution network has broken down should goods arrive. Maduro does not have the ties that Hugo Chavez had to the military, but the populace does not trust their ties to the former and present oligarchy(says the wobblies). The U.S. embassy is taking measures to lessen traffic, using as a reason that Maduro has not let them hire personnel (but they sounded scared to me). One author taunts Maduro that he won’t let Caritas in because they will “establecer una cabeza de playa”[establish a beach head].

  18. Agnes says:

    I translated a map…showed the 126 locations where stores had been looted.

  19. Agnes says:

    A Vatican official that was due there to ordain a Venezuelan for the Congo has cancelled his trip(“de quien se esperaba mediación ante crisis”)”Who it was hoped might have mediated before this crisis”this coming week May24/27. This to me says things are coming to a head.

  20. night-train says:

    Wolf: I enjoy your site, but seriously, it is starting to look like the bunker crowd is taking over. I live in the state of Alabama. I can just go outside to hear this “it was better in the 50s” and “lead is better than gold” rhetoric. I was glad to discover your site a couple of years ago because it had a cosmopolitan wider world view. I am more interested in articles and informed opinions regarding economic issues, than the “Better Bathroom and Gun Digest”.

  21. Julian the Apostate says:

    Relax Wolf. The trolls are just poking us with a stick. They’ll get bored and go away until the next time they get nervous. They can’t think for themselves and think logic is some sort of voodoo. As a woman, Petunia has every right to be concerned. My daughter-in-law teaches school and has worn herself ragged arguing with them over the bathroom thing. I’ve been irritated for years about helicopter dads bringing their 9 year old daughters into the men’s room, and the occasional woman strolling in and asking directions. But for the ladies it’s a security issue. It’s not the transgender folks that upset them but potential rapists and pedophiles who see an easy mark and jump on the bandwagon. The Canadians have always been in a snit about our 2nd Ammendment. They think we’re all cowboys and crazies. Petunia’s observation about women boycotting stores seems like a perfectly reasonable economic discussion to me. As for the trolls, meh. Don’t feed the trolls ?

  22. Julian the Apostate says:

    I am reminded of a question once asked about Richard Nixon. I’ve updated it for the computer generation: If a troll is alone in a room without an Internet connection, is there anybody there?

Comments are closed.